First Date

She couldn’t stop thinking about him, so there was only one thing to do: go out with someone new, of course.
They agreed to meet at 7pm. She knew even before she met him that she wouldn’t like him. It wouldn’t matter how smart or charming or how handsome he was, she just knew. Simply because he wasn’t him.
She didn’t want to seem as though she was trying too hard, when in fact she didn’t care at all.

The problem with first dates is that every word you say, what drink you order (Scotch or a martini?), the buttons left unbuttoned on your blouse, even the way you look at him- every single thing takes on a particular, subliminal meaning.

But she was the type of girl who wore perfume and her favorite heels to run out for milk. It didn’t matter where she was going. That’s just who she was. So if she just happened to look a certain way, it had absolutely nothing to do with him.

She arrived at 6:48 and ordered a glass of Bordeaux. At 7:02 he walked in. She looked up from her phone. He was taller than she’d expected. He was wearing a suit jacket, a crisp white shirt and dark jeans.

He smiled as he walked toward her.

Why had she agreed to this? If he knew she was out with another man, she wondered, would he be upset?

“Wow. You’re even prettier in person,” he said.
She got up from her chair to greet him. “Thank you.”
They discussed their children and her recent trip to San Antonio (one of her favorite cities) and his job on Capitol Hill. The conversation and wine flowed easily. He was witty and charming.

He even made her laugh. She found herself smiling.

And even though he wasn’t him, the thought occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, she could enjoy spending time with someone else.

She had warned him she needed to leave early, but somehow 8:37pm turned into 10:49. She needed to be up early the next day.

“I really should go,” she said.

“But you haven’t even finished your drink.”

He smiled at her. His eyes were the perfect shade of blue.

She smiled back.

She knew she needed to go.

Finally he walked her to her car.

The moon was full.

“I’d really like to see you again,” he said.

“I’ll text you,” she said.

How did this happen? She should have stayed home.

As she drove home, she received a message. She looked down at her phone. “I’d like to see you again. Any chance you’re free Friday night?”
Suddenly she felt guilty. She hadn’t expected to be interested in anyone else. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

This was only meant to be a distraction from another night spent sitting home alone, thinking about him, with an empty ache in her chest,  waiting for him to finally make up his mind.

She thought about all of the nights spent in his bed. All of the nights they stayed up talking and making love. His hands all over her body. The way he kissed her. How could he just throw that all away?

As she lay in bed that night, the rain poured down outside her window.

The next morning she checked her phone again. No missed calls.

She had been thinking about him. But he hadn’t been thinking of her. Even so, she decided to give him one more week. Maybe he would figure it all out and realize he really did want to be with her. Or maybe she would finally decide to walk away for good.

Just then she received a text: “Looking forward to seeing you.”  

It had finally stopped raining. She needed to get dressed. She didn’t want to be late for work.

She looked out her window. The sky was slate blue. And she was indecisive.

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The Break Up Text

“He broke up with you by text?” That’s usually the first thing your friends say, soon followed by “What a huge jerk” when they discover a guy sent you a Break Up Text.

Not “Oh, are you okay?” or “I’m so sorry.” Somehow, the fact that he broke up via a text message always takes center stage. Oh the horror of it all.

There’s a very funny episode of  Sex and the City where Carrie’s boyfriend, Berger, breaks up with her via a Post-It note. The episode centers around how horrible Berger is for doing it in this way, how insulting it is to Carrie and other equally deplorable methods of breaking up (by telephone, carrier pigeon, etc.).

He simply writes: “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.” Then he leaves in the middle of the night and she discovers the break-up Post-it the next morning.

“Don’t hate me”?

First of all, right after a break up, he or she is definitely going to hate you. At least temporarily anyway. Because hating the person is one of the 5 stages of Breaking Up. [Denial, Anger aka: I Hate You, Bargaining, Sadness, and finally Acceptance.]

But the good news is that your ex will almost always un-hate you as soon as they get over you. Which is probably pretty quickly since, if you broke up via a text (or a Post-it note) that probably means you only dated for 5 minutes anyway. And how could you possibly hate someone that you barely knew?


Not too long ago, I dated a guy for 9 weeks (I hate that I know exactly how many weeks we were together, because UGH). Anyway, we never discussed our feelings. Seriously? Who discusses feelings anymore? The New Thing is to pretend you don’t have any. Everyone knows that. (Although he may have said “I like you” once, but we were drinking and the room was very dark, so I could be wrong.)

And we never defined the relationship. Instead, I decided to be the cool and casual Just Go With The Flow Girl.

And I was. I decided not to worry where it was going and to just enjoy it and to focus on the having fun part. So that’s exactly what I did.

And even though I never once brought up the whole “Are we in a relationship?” thing, my friends would occasionally ask me and I admit those thoughts were floating around in my head those last few weeks.

So it’s not surprising that late one night, when I may or may not have had too much to drink, that I may or may not have brought up the word ‘intimacy’ in conversation. UGH, again.

I don’t exactly recall the entire (short) conversation, but I do know it was absolutely nothing like those scenes you see in movies where he professes his love to her and they make love in front of a perfectly lit fire and it all romantically ends with mutual I love you’s. It was exactly the opposite of that.

The next morning things felt a bit awkward, so I came right out and asked him “Are we okay? Are we going to continue seeing each other?” [I should add that it’s not easy for me to be that blunt, but I’ve learned that being honest and straight forward is always best.]

He assured me that we were fine. He nervously laughed, got dressed and then he left. And that was the end of that.

That was Sunday morning.

Three days later, on a beautiful and sunny afternoon, I discovered that things were not “fine” at all when I received The Break Up Text.

Looking back, I knew things weren’t fine on the morning I asked him. And yes, he probably should have just ended it then on that Sunday before he left. But I’m not mad or upset that he waited three days. Or that he ended it via text message.

And here’s why:

1. We were only together for 9 weeks. And even if we did spend 2 – 3 nights together each week, that still isn’t a very long time to really know someone. The truth is, there were probably a dozen signs that things weren’t going to work out. And in 9 weeks, I successfully managed to ignore them all. So it’s partially my fault for deciding not to see them.

2. We never discussed exclusivity and we never defined the relationship. So as far as I know, he was still actively dating other women on tinder, etc. So unless you’ve discussed those things, do you really have a right to be angry if it suddenly all ends?

3. I once had a guy break up with me at 2am on a Saturday after we’d been drinking vodka all night. After a deep discussion (because it’s always best to have a discussion after you’ve been drinking vodka), he abruptly got up and left. Yes, at 2am, and yes, when we were both pretty hammered. As drunk as I was, I distinctly remember freaking the fuck out, because DRUNK. That may be the absolute worst time to break up with someone, ever. So in comparison, receiving a text at 3pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon while sitting at your desk, completely clear headed (and sober) is 100% better than having a guy leave you at 2am on a Saturday night when you’re so toasted it’s impossible to think straight. So, thank you, I think?

4. I used to think – like so many people still do- that breaking up over text is the cowardly thing to do. Why not just tell someone it’s over to their face? Well, as noble as that may sound, I’m not so sure I want a guy breaking up with me in person. Because if I really like him, which I probably do (otherwise, why would I be dating you  for 9+ weeks?) there’s a very good chance I might start to cry. And no matter how hot or cute you think you are, no one looks pretty when they’re crying. NO ONE. And even if I don’t cry, I’m still going to be pretty upset/ sad/ annoyed and feeling a myriad of other emotions, and I’d much rather deal with all of them in private. Guys honestly have no idea what to do when a girl gets upset and/or starts to cry, and it becomes very frustrating for both parties. So it’s actually a good thing to break up over text. It gives both people time and space to deal with an unpleasant situation in private. It’s best that we both walk away feeling good (or as good as possible) about the situation as we can. People tend to get upset after a break up, which just adds unwanted drama to the situation and who needs that? Certainly not me.

5. I suspect that in those 3 days that he waited, that he gave his decision to end things a lot of thought. And I admit that I had been thinking everything over, too. I always try to think things  thoroughly through before making any major decisions, so I respect the fact that he took a few days to think it over before he made a thoughtful decision to tell me.

6. I needed time alone to think. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t having doubts, too. I don’t think bringing up intimacy after 9 weeks is rushing things. It’s not like we had just met yesterday. So if a guy freaks out over that, then he definitely isn’t the one for me. And if the relationship – and more importantly, if I- meant that little to him, then really? What more needs to be said?

Nothing. So let’s just end it and move on.



When it comes to casual relationships, I don’t see why the Break Up Text is really all that bad. It’s not like you were married. You’re not ending a long term, committed relationship where there are children and a mortgage and 20 years of memories involved.

You were casually dating. There wasn’t any commitment.  So you know what? Breaking up via text or even a Post-it note may not be the best way to end things, but it’s certainly not the worst way either.

In fact, maybe it’s the most painless and kindest way to go. ♦


Here is the infamous scene from SATC, The Post It Break Up. [Click the link twice to view it on youtube.] Enjoy. Xx

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Inexplicable

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The older we get and the more life we experience, we often become wiser in many ways.

I have found the exact opposite to be true when it comes to love. And maybe that’s because the more I’ve loved, the more I question everything about it. It’s such a huge emotion and unlike any other feeling in the world. All encompassing and rare in it’s truest form. So it makes complete sense that it mystifies even the smartest of people.

There was a time when I believed without any uncertainty that I was in love. And at some point in each long term relationship, I did believe it was love.

Now I find myself questioning my own feelings, even when it feels like it couldn’t be anything but love.

In my younger days, I was completely open- almost to a fault- when I poured my heart out to a man, without fear.

Then, after having my heart broken, I swore I would never be the first to say those words ever again. Hoping that he’d just know by the way I held his hand in the middle of the night when we’re tangled up in bed. Or by the way I look at him after a long, lingering kiss when it feels like nothing else in the world exists.

All it takes is one bad heart break to completely change a person. And so I became completely guarded and protective.

Until I met a man who made me feel like I could open up to someone again. I’m not sure exactly what made me do it, but one night, after too much wine, I said those three little, huge enormously frightening words.

It’s amazing how saying such a small sentence can hold so much meaning. How it can completely change everything.

And sadly, being hurt has made me become the girl who has a tendency to run away. Even when every fiber of my being is saying “You love him. Don’t run away.”

I’m not sure why I push men away. Maybe I’m afraid of getting hurt again. Or maybe I’m afraid of having my heart broken and it’s easier to end things on my own terms versus waiting for the bomb to drop. [OMG, THAT’S IT, ISN’T IT?]

Maybe the reason I push men away and question my own feelings is because they hold back. Men are even more afraid than women are when it comes to opening up. Many men fear commitment. So is it any wonder why women hold back, too? AND WHY IS LOVE SO FUCKING SCARY ANYWAY?

You can hold back as much as you like, but you can’t control your feelings and you can’t stop yourself from falling for someone. It’s like jumping off a cliff and halfway down, suddenly deciding you want to go back up again. There is no point of return when it comes to falling in love. You just have to let yourself fall and hope the other person catches you [or some romantic metaphor like that]. And you can’t control who you fall for or why it happens because love knows no reason or logic.

And you don’t have to understand it and it doesn’t have to make any sense. Because love is missing someone even before they’ve left. Love is listening to her talk – even when the conversation is about nothing at all. Love is wanting to know about his childhood, and how he became the man he is today. Love is lying in bed together and talking for hours, not caring if you get any sleep. Love is driving an hour out of your way to bring him cold medicine and ice cream when he’s sick. Even if it means being late for work. Love is wanting her to meet your mother and your friends because you can’t wait to show her off. Because you know everyone will fall in love with her, too.

Love is having that one person- who’s both your best friend and lover- that you can share everything with, knowing they won’t judge you. Because no matter what you say, you know they’ll love you anyway.

Love is scary and heart wrenching and hopeless and passionate and amazing and elusive and life altering and inexplicable in so many ways. And those who don’t understand that have never experienced that kind of love.

And just writing about love makes me crave all those wonderful feelings.  The electricity between two people who have that mental and physical connection that transforms sex into something deeper and more erotic and explosive. And at other times, the slow deliciousness of making love that only two people who are  genuinely connected can experience.  The way two lives become entwined by time and shared experiences and unspoken words.

Because that’s what love is: an intangible, inexplicable connection that ties two hearts and two lives together in such a way, it’s virtually impossible to break them apart. Even if it’s only for a short time. And isn’t that what everyone wants? Because love truly is the most amazing feeling in the world.

So maybe taking a chance and opening up to someone- no matter how scary it may be- and risking having your heart broken really is worth it– when you think of everything you can gain.

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The Affair

As her date droned on, she noticed a group of guys laughing and drinking beer a few feet away. The bar was loud and crowded. She couldn’t make out their faces. Except for one.

Her date asked her a question.

“What?” All she could hear was this handsome stranger laughing a few feet away.

She caught him staring at her. So she smiled back. And no sooner had her date left to make a phone call, she looked up to see his face smiling down at her.

He asked her her name. Before she could answer, he said “You’re beautiful.”

Soon they were walking down the street together, huddled close in the winter wind. They passed a group of loud girls, smoking and an old man walking his dog.

He grabbed her hand and led her across the street and into another bar. His hand felt warm and strong.

“Two vodka tonics” he said to the bartender. Despite the toasty fire crackling in the fireplace, the bar was practically empty.

He said something funny and she laughed. Suddenly his hand was on her waist, gently pulling her closer. She thought he might kiss her. But instead he leaned over and whispered into her ear.

She’d always been attracted to quirky. But only when it was perfectly mixed with intelligence and wit and charm and of course humor.

And he was all of the above.

And the fact that he was tall was the cherry on the all ready delicious cake.

Two hours later, they were in his apartment. He offered to take her coat. She politely declined.

“I really should go,” she said. As she started to leave, he leaned over and kissed her. Soft and slow at first, then deeper and passionately. She wanted to tear off her coat and throw her clothes on the floor. But instead she kissed him one last time and left.

The 18 minute drive home felt like an hour.

Two nights later she was in his apartment again. A bottle of Patron sat on his countertop next to a basket of fresh raspberries. How did he know those were her favorites?

He was wearing dark jeans and a long sleeved tee and a boyish grin. He opened the tequila and she did a shot to take the edge off. They drank and talked and kissed. He told her about his family. She talked about her new job. They kissed and talked and drank some more. His lips were on her neck. Her hands were on his waist.

She knew she wanted to sleep with him but there were so many reasons not to. But maybe even more reasons why she should. His lips tasted like tequila and raspberries and perfection. He pulled her closer and she whispered into his ear “Where’s your room?”

A candle was burning on his nightstand. His room smelled like red velvet cake. His bed sheets were dark gray. She could hear music playing from the apartment next door.

His curtains were slightly drawn and she could see the moon outside his window. He kissed her as she started to unbutton his pants. Their hands were everywhere. She could feel the weight of his body on hers and every doubt she had disappeared from her mind. Every movement felt electric. The candle flickered next to the bed. He felt perfect and delicious and intoxicating.

At 6:15am the alarm went off on her cell phone. He helped her locate her clothes as she hurriedly dressed. He followed her to the door. All he was wearing were a pair of dark blue gym shorts. His chest was smooth and perfect. She kissed him goodbye.

They started meeting 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes it would be at her house and sometimes, his. They’d snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, but mostly they would talk and drink and make out for hours before falling into a heap in bed. And in the morning he would always tell her how beautiful her eyes were.

It was easy and fun and exhilarating and uncomplicated. Weeks and months passed. Sexy texts and flirty conversations. She knew it wouldn’t last – they both knew – but it felt good now. And he was smart and sexy and he was so drawn to her and their bodies fit so perfectly together. The sex was addictive. She knew she couldn’t say no.

Then something happened. It doesn’t matter what. Because something always happens. He started to get too close and he said something that hurt her feelings. And she held back because she knew it could never be anymore than it was. He pushed her away and she pushed him away further. She imagined she would never see his beautiful face ever again so she busied herself with work and meaningless things.

The weather grew colder and she would lie awake at night thinking about him. He imagined her with someone else and it drove him insane. But neither of them contacted each other. They were both too stubborn and practical, and she was so busy. But not too busy to lie awake at night imagining all the nights they had spent together in her bed.

And he stayed busy too. But he could still smell her on his pillows and he imagined her body wrapped around his.

And the days and weeks passed and it started to get easier. She started to forget the little things. Like how his skin smelled and the way he would hold her so close, wrapping his arms around her waist when they were lying in bed.

One night, around 1:24am or something like that, he sent her a text.

“I miss you.”

They saw each other again after that. It turns out, it wasn’t an affair. It lasted over a year and a half. And each time he would walk through her door, without a word, he would  immediately grab her and kiss her like he hadn’t seen her in a hundred years.  It was sexy and passionate and she never wanted it to end.

He made her feel beautiful.

Then something else happened. Maybe she met someone else. Or maybe he did.  It doesn’t really matter. Because something else always happens. And so it ended again and they went their separate ways, as people always do.

And sometimes when she is out with another guy, she gets distracted and finds herself searching for his face in the crowd.

And sometimes when he is out with his friends, he’ll see a girl with long blonde hair and he’ll hear her laugh and he imagines it is her.

Image #1047511 by korshun on Favim.com

Love in the Rain | via Tumblr – image #1047511 by korshun on Favim.com

The Letter

The forecast was calling for hurricane like winds. It was Friday afternoon.

We had plans to stay in a beautiful, romantic hotel in Arlington all weekend. It was part of my birthday gift to him. But 2 weeks before, we broke up. It was too late to get a refund so I decided to go anyway. Without him. I asked my girls “Who wants to stay in a 5 star hotel this weekend?”  They were ecstatic.

As we drove to the hotel Friday night, it was pouring rain. Luckily the hotel had indoor parking. I parked, we grabbed our bags and went to check in. The lobby was beautiful but all I wanted to do was get into our room and fall onto the bed. It had been an emotionally exhausting few weeks.

As we checked in, the manager overheard us and asked me my name. “Are you Nicole? Someone left a package here for you.”

At first I thought he was mistaken. No one knew we were staying there. Except for one other person.

I walked over to him and he handed me a large manila envelope. I couldn’t imagine what was inside. I’m the girl who can’t wait until Christmas to open a present. So I opened it in front of him as I stood in the lobby.

Inside was a ring box and this letter:

My sweet Nicole,

I love you so much. The thought of losing you causes me great pain. You will always be the only girl for me. I know how to make this work and I want to be with you and the girls. Please accept this ring as a token of my commitment to you. We can get a nicer one later. I want to be with you forever. I’m asking you to marry me. Please say yes.

 

It was from him.

The rest of this story doesn’t matter. What does matter is this:

Most men are too afraid to open up and say how they truly feel. They think it’s cool to keep a girl guessing and to never show their emotions. Usually until it’s too late.

It’s okay to tell a girl “I like you” or “I love you” or even “I don’t know where this relationship is heading but I want you to know I care.”

Or even “I’m sorry. I messed up.” Anything is almost always better than nothing.

The important thing is to be honest and say something.

Ask any guy and most will have a story of how he was dating this amazing girl at one time — and ultimately how he lost her. Because he was too afraid of opening up. Or how he went out and got drunk with his friends (again) instead of returning her call. Or because he let his friends’ opinions dictate what he should do, instead of deciding for himself. Because guys like that are too cool to ever let a girl know they actually might care.

And it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as leaving a beautifully romantic letter (and a ring) in a hotel. It could be as simple as a text that says “I’m sorry. I messed up. I miss you.”

If she still has any feelings left for you, she will probably respond to pretty much anything you say, as long as you are honest and sincere.

The guys who wait too long to tell a girl how they feel, usually lose the girl. Because great girls don’t sit around and wait for a guy to come to his senses.

Great girls bounce back and move forward and go on living their interesting, busy lives. And it’s usually not long before someone else takes notice and sweeps them off their feet.

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The Age Factor

The first time I ever dated a considerably younger guy, I repeatedly asked myself “What in the hell are you doing?”

It’s not like I was new to dating younger guys. In fact my first boyfriend was younger than me, my ex-husband was 7 years younger and my most recent LTR was with a guy 12 years younger. It wasn’t exactly new to me. But then out of nowhere it seems, the 20 year olds started appearing. I’d been hit on by 20 year old guys before, but none of them were ever able to truly capture my interest. There’s nothing remotely appealing about “Heyy whats up babe?” or “How r u?”  If he can’t string a simple sentence together, you kind of already know the deal.

But then twitter happened and it opened up a whole new group of guys – of all ages – who were actually thoughtful and funny and intelligent. Then add tinder (no explanation needed there) and the flood gates opened.

That’s when I decided to rethink the whole age thing.

I started out with just simple conversations.  I’d often ask these younger guys why they were interested in older women? Their answers were always the same:  Girls their age demand too much. They get upset if you don’t text them 20x a day. They don’t give a guy his space. They need to know where you are every minute of the day. They’re too dramatic. She was only interested in money. She wanted a serious boyfriend. She wanted to get married.  She was insecure. She was extremely jealous. The list goes on. All huge turn offs to a guy of any age.

Which brought me to why they were drawn to older women: Older women are confident. We don’t need to know what you’re doing every second of the day. We don’t care about that girl who you were talking to at the bar. We’re too busy to text you every single day. We don’t care how much money you make. We are busy with our own lives and careers. We’re more open minded and experimental when it comes to sex. And we certainly are not looking to get married.

Maybe dating a 20 yr. old would be fun.  I decided why not.

One guy in particular made me change my mind. It all started with a few sweet words. Not only was he articulate but extremely intelligent. Two things I can’t resist (even though I tried). Instead of partying with his friends, he chose to spend time with me. He was emotionally mature and genuinely interesting- both extremely sexy- which made him irresistible.

One of my flaws is that I sometimes try to end things at the first sign of trouble. Even if the “trouble” doesn’t actually exist.  I’m like the Runaway Bride of dating. So after only a few months of amazing sex and great conversation, I told him I could never see him ever again.

WHO DOES THAT?

Me, apparently. Well, I used to. (But I’m getting better.) It’s easy to let your head overthink and complicate things, but sometimes you need to think with your heart, which is kind of the same as NOT thinking.

Then a friend told me “Just let the relationship run it’s natural course.” Words I sometimes forget but should definitely try to remember. It’s sometimes difficult to enjoy time with someone when you’re constantly thinking “This can’t last.”

Luckily, he wouldn’t let me end it, so we continued to see each other.

And each time I would start to overthink it, friends would weigh in with “Just have fun. Who cares how old he is?”

It’s our experiences and the people we meet and share time with who ultimately shape who we are and who we become. So I did my best not to overthink it and just enjoy it.

Here is what I discovered. Age really is just a number. Your brain doesn’t say “You cannot be attracted to this person because they’re not the *right* age.” It’s all about chemistry and connection. It’s probably true that a guy in his 20’s isn’t looking for a girlfriend and is more interested in just having sex.  But that’s often true about guys in their 30’s and 40’s, too. And it’s a common fact that women reach their sexual peak in their mid 30’s to 40’s. We think about, enjoy and want sex, too.

I had dismissed many guys simply because I thought they were too young.  But there’s a difference between someone’s age and  emotional maturity. And just because a guy is older doesn’t mean he’s emotionally mature either (I’ve been down that road before, too).

Age doesn’t determine chemistry. If you connect with someone who’s fun and interesting, why not just enjoy it?

It’s all about mutual respect and how you make each other feel. If he makes you feel sexy and beautiful, and he’s respectful and honest, where’s the harm in that?

It doesn’t mean it has to turn into anything serious. Having fun together does not always equal love. It’s not a promise for forever. (I admit that’s a beautiful and romantic notion, but it’s simply not realistic.) It’s just fun and enjoyable and one more life experience that makes you a more interesting person. I mean the world could END TOMORROW. Would you really say no to having fun and good sex if you thought you only had one more day to live? I THINK NOT.

Find a person who you connect with, who you feel comfortable with, who you respect and trust. That’s when the sex really becomes amazing. If those pieces are missing, then you’re probably just having mediocre sex.

And age has nothing to do with finding that connection. Connection has to do with chemistry. And you never know who will have chemistry with until you actually spend time with someone. You shouldn’t dismiss a person simply because of their age.

I don’t often meet guys who can capture my interest. So when I do, why would I dismiss him simply because of his age? It’s all about how he treats me, how he makes me feel and how we interact together. And if all those pieces click, then why not just take it for what it is and simply enjoy it?

 

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50 First Dates

After another horribly cold winter, I decided that once spring arrived I would force myself to start dating again. Ugh.

And while dating can be a lot of fun, it’s also a lot of work. Manicures and blow outs and coordinating schedules and what shoes to wear? Is this guy worth my most expensive perfume? And is this outfit too sexy, too slutty or both?

I admit I watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and even though it’s a complete drama-fest, it’s quite addictive. I mean even the men cry. Men crying and fighting over a girl they all met 5 minutes ago? Come on. Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

I always thought it would be fun to be on that show and have 20+ guys all vying for my attention. Since I’ll never have men fighting and crying over me on national television, I decided the next best thing would be to go out on as many dates as I could squeeze into one summer. After all, I’m single and my girls have been gone on vacations for most of the summer and I have really pretty hair (okay that’s not really a reason). But why not?

So 50 dates? I doubt I’ll have that many, but I figured I would document my experiences as I go along, just for fun. (And imagine a camera crew is following me around and filming my every move. Translation: No one night stands allowed because then everyone will know and think I’m a slut, which of course I’m not.)

Not all of the guys I’ve met so far are worth mentioning and some dates have bored me to tears, but here are a few so far.

(Oh, I should mention I sometimes give them nicknames because A. it’s fun and makes them easier to remember and B. to protect their true identities, DUH.)

1. Robert Downey Jr. I swear this guy could have been RDJ’s twin brother. Although he was nice and very handsome, I wasn’t really feeling the sparks but he looked so much like Robert Downey Jr, I had to at least mention it.

2. Cute Tattoo Guy: So adorable in all of his photos (I met him on tinder). After speaking on the phone, I was 99% sure we’d have absolutely nothing in common, but I still wanted to meet him anyway because I’m a complete sucker for a cute face. When we met, one of his eyebrows was partially shaven off and I spent the entire time trying to figure out how anyone could do that. I really wanted to say “Hey, so why is your eyebrow half shaven off?” but I thought that might be rude and everyone knows how terribly polite I am, so of course I tried not to stare and said nothing.

3. If you’ve never seen Arthur (the original one with Dudley Moore), go on Netflix right now and watch it. It’s a must see. Guy#3 was just like Arthur: funny, sweet, a great dresser and always laughing and smiling. The one thing I never do is ask a guy what he does. If he volunteers the information, great but I never ask because to me, age and income are irrelevant. I’m more interested in his personality and how he treats me. So I was quite surprised when he picked me up in his limo (yes, he flipping owns a limousine) and gave me the key to his loft apartment overlooking the Inner Harbor for me to stay (ALONE) overnight. (Not where he lives, but a private apartment he keeps for guests.) We took the limo to dinner, followed by a night of drinking in the limo and driving bar to bar, all over the Inner Harbor. All I could think about was Dudley Moore in Arthur. Because he was so much fun, this guy has a very good chance of getting a second date (but that’s none of your business so please don’t ask because I’m not telling).

4. Mr. Perfect:  This man made me feel like a princess the entire night. He took me to one of the most expensive restaurants in Baltimore and put me up in a 4 star hotel for the night because he knew we would be drinking (no, he did NOT spend the night). When I arrived at the restaurant, the valet took my car and later, he even arranged for them to drive it back to the hotel for me. He ordered 3 bottles of the most expensive wine (all different so we could sample them) and we had a beautiful meal. After dinner, he drove me back to the hotel and he went home. (What a huge waste of a great hotel room. Ugh, again.) He was a complete gentleman. Every girl should have at least one date like this one where you can get ready in a beautiful hotel room and not have to worry about one thing the entire night. Amazing, to say the least.

5. Justin Timberlake. (Okay, he looks nothing like JT but he was super hot.) While having dinner with friends, we had the most delicious waiter. He was so nice that after flirting with him all night, I decided to leave my phone number on the back of the receipt (giving new meaning to ‘nice tip’). I’ve never done that before and I really didn’t think he’d call, but the next day he sent me a very nice text and we arranged a date. This is all I am willing to say about this one, except that I would highly recommend leaving your number with a cute guy (waiter or otherwise) because you just never know.

The only real problem with all of these first dates (besides having to pick out a cute outfit every night) is what happens if I meet someone I really like? [Or maybe I already met someone I really like and maybe he broke my heart and maybe this is my new plan to get over him. Maybe.] I haven’t really thought about that but most guys get bored easily. Whatever happens, happens.

Ideally, I’ll meet one fabulous guy and we’ll have 50 fun dates together but let’s not get too crazy. For now, this is a fun experiment and a great way to learn about men and maybe make some new friends along the way.

So today is Friday. Guess what? I have another date tonight, tomorrow night and another on Sunday.

And frankly, I’m exhausted already.

Photo courtesy of www.lovepanky.com

 

 

Broken Hearts

I remember the first time I ever had my heart broken. Jay was tall, incredibly handsome and a perfect gentleman. He sent me roses every single month for the entire year we were together. He bought me my first bottle of expensive perfume (a scent I still love and wear). He sent me cards and wrote me beautiful love notes. I rarely save anything from old loves, but I still have a few cards he sent me. In one, he wrote “I love you, I want you, I need you.”  It’s still one of the most romantic things a man has ever given me. We were both barely 18. It’s crazy to think that a guy that young could be that thoughtful and romantic. But he was.

It was an idyllic first love. He completely adored me and we had an amazing summer together. But like most first loves, it came to an end.  The week before Christmas, he came to my house to drop off my gift. And as he stood in the doorway, somehow I knew he had cheated on me the weekend before. I’m not sure how girls know these things but sometimes you can just feel them in your bones. He admitted he had slept with someone else and I fell apart. I cried for weeks. I didn’t think I would ever get over him.

But I did.

But I can’t listen to The Payola’s You’re the Only Love without remembering that summer.

There are only two other times I ever felt that kind of hurt. And both occurred in more recent years.

The most memorable one and the most painful by far was three summers ago. I’ve written about it here, so I won’t rehash it all again. But instead of crying in bed for weeks (okay, I may have done that, too) I was more like Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give, sitting at my laptop and writing it all out. Writing and crying. I literally wrote – and cried –  for weeks, maybe months. I was completely inconsolable. I remember feeling a genuine physical ache that literally lasted for months. It felt like the pain would never go away.

But eventually, it did.

It’s impossible to go through life without experiencing loss. At some point, we all have our hearts broken. And no matter how many times it happens, it’s one of the few things in life that never seems to get any easier.

It always fucking hurts.

And it’s not something you can prevent although some people think you can control it. A man once told me he would never fall in love with anyone ever again, after having his heart broken by someone else. Then he fell in love with me. And I didn’t mean to hurt him (no one ever plans these things) but after a few years, I decided I needed to end it. The relationship had taken a toll on me, both physically and emotionally, and uncertainty in any relationship can be just as damaging as infidelity. Sometimes it feels like if we end things first, that will make it easier or less painful. But the truth is if you still care about the person at all, it’s never an easy thing to do. And even though I still cared about him deeply, I knew it needed to end.

I spent months questioning my decision. Looking back, I know it was for the best, but at the time, I was too immersed in mixed emotions to see it.  It’s almost impossible to separate logic from love when you are completely caught up in the middle of it.

Falling in – and out – of love is completely uncontrollable. You can’t stop your heart from feeling something it feels.  And you can’t make someone feel something if they don’t. That’s the tragic beauty of love.

But what if both people still care? What if we held onto that person, instead of letting go and decided to work it out before throwing it all away? That only works if both people want it badly enough and are committed to each other.

Is it easier to walk away and start over fresh with someone new? Or do you stay and try to lovingly mend all of the broken pieces?

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling

of letting go and holding onHenry Ellis

Love is the most amazing feeling in the world. So it amazes me how some people are so quick to throw it away.  Once a man has captured my heart, I am completely devoted to him. I have lived long enough to know that finding love is rare and I don’t think you should ever throw it away.

Everything could be falling apart around you, but if you have someone who loves you, somehow it makes everything else seem better. Having that one special person on your side can make all the difference. And when they suddenly disappear from your life, it can feel like your entire world has come to an end.

But it doesn’t.

 

Heart break is inevitable. You can’t stop it from happening if it wasn’t meant to be. And you can’t put all of the pieces back together after everything has fallen apart. And it’s pointless to hold onto to something when the other person has already let go.

Life doesn’t end just because love sometimes does.

That’s when letting go gracefully seems to be the only option.

And no matter how much it hurts when you are going through it, we all heal and we all move past it and we all survive. But even better than that is that we always find love again.

Everyone survives a broken heart.  But it still hurts like hell.

After my divorce, I said I would never marry ever again. But the truth is I still believe in true love. I still believe in the fairy tale. I still want to lie in bed with someone at night and kiss and hold hands and make love and fall asleep together.  I want to fall in love with every part of his mixed up soul. And I’ll always believe that the only reason we were placed on this earth is to love and to be loved.

I will never stop believing that love is the most amazing thing in this world.

But just to be safe, I think I might sit this next game out.  ♥

Image from Pinterest.

Image from Pinterest.

 

 

 

Something Sweet

I remember when my sister first started dating her husband. She was in nursing school and he was an exchange student going to college in Syracuse, living in the U.S. on a temporary Visa. They hadn’t been dating very long when she brought him home for the first time to meet our family. When we were alone, I remember her telling me how he first told her that he loved her.

He told me he loved me and I said ‘But you barely even know me.’

His response was “What I do know about you, I already love.”

 

I’ll never forget that because it was terribly romantic and sweet. And I was still a teenager and I hadn’t experienced real love yet.

And as I am writing this I realize that I don’t remember the first time my ex-husband told me that he loved me.

Maybe because it wasn’t memorable.

Or maybe because it doesn’t matter now.

Or maybe for a hundred other reasons.

But I will always remember that exchange between my sister and her first husband that had occurred years earlier.

I think it’s one of those moments where you should remember. It should be memorable and sweet and meaningful.

Because it’s a milestone of sorts in a new relationship.

It’s like the official beginning of a new relationship.

 

That’s it. That’s all I have.

Just a sweet memory about my sister that I wanted to share. -MMP

1aBeatles

Some Questions Will Never Be Answered

Why is it so hard to let go?

Why do you still love someone who never cared about you?

Why do we have to hurt this way?

How did we get to this place?

Why can’t we forget about the past and just start over?

Why is it such a struggle just trying to be friends?

Why can’t we just allow ourselves to be loved?

Why did all of this happen to us?

Why can’t you stop talking and simply hold me and hug me until all my hurt goes away?

Why can’t we stop looking back?

How do we pick up all of these pieces and fix this?

Why did we have to hurt each other?

Why did we both have to be so stubborn?

Maybe I never loved you and maybe you never loved her.

Maybe we just needed to meet each other to help each other get through a difficult point in our lives.

Maybe none of it even matters.

Maybe nothing matters at all.

Why can’t we try….. just one more time?

Where do we go from here?

Why, after all we have been through- after all the hurt, the lies, and the pain- am I still willing to give this another try?

Why do I still care?

Why was it so easy for you to give up and walk away?

Why do I still see something in you that no one else can see?

Isn’t that worth something to you?

Why do I still have so much hope?

Maybe that is the biggest question of all.

Why is real, true, genuine, unconditional love, so elusive?

Why is real, true, genuine, unconditional love, so elusive?

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